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Realistic Face Sculpting in ZBrush - Complete Tutorial 2023


🟠Learn to sculpt a male face in ZBrush with this comprehensive tutorial.

Master various techniques to create realistic facial features using ZBrush brushes.




🟠Learn the process of creating a realistic face through digital sculpting techniques, focusing on eyes, eyelids, nose, and expressions.








- Workflow

  • Just like in one of our previous classes, we’ll be using the male Head Plane from inside ZBrush as a starting point for today’s class

  • Click on the LightBox, go inside Projects, double-click on the Head Planes folder, and choose the HeadPlanes_Male_128.ZPR.

  • DynaMesh the head on a high resolution and use the Flatten and Smooth brush to smooth out the head from all sides.

  • Just like always when we have a symmetrical character use the symmetry when working by pressing X on your keyboard.

  • Starting off with the nose, the beginning of the nose is more pinched than the end, use the Move Topolgy brush (BMT) to pinch the beginning of the nose.

  • With DamStandard carve out the side of the nose.

  • With ClayBuild up add more volume on the sides of the nostrils.

  • With the Move Topology brush grab the tip of the nose with a small brush size and slightly move it outward to make it more round at the end.

  • Add more volume on the tip of the nose with ClayBuild up.

  • DynaMesh the head on a medium resolution.

  • Using the Move Topology brush again, pinch the side of the nose that is almost at the tip.

  • We do this because there is still some bone at the beginning of the nose but afterwards there isn’t.

  • This is why the first couple of inches from the beginning of the nose will be a bit wider than the rest.

  • With ClayBuild + Alt up take away some of the clay on the sides of the nose.

  • With DamStandard + Alt draw out the mouth starting with a horizontal line below the nose then from there draw out the top and bottom lip.

  • With the Move brush adjust the outlines to form a more natural shape for the mouth.

  • Mask the bottom part of the face so that we can more easily shape the top lip.

  • Use the Move Topology brush to shape the lip, bringing it out from the side and most importantly from the top view.

  • We can check if our top lip is out enough by drawing a line from the nose leading diagonally down towards the mouth and chin.

  • If there is space between the line and the top lip, the lip needs to be moved out more.

  • Mask the top part of the face once you’re done with the top lip ad start moving the bottom lip outward.

  • Keep in mind that the bottom lip won’t be as pulled outward as the top lip.

  • With the Pinch brush (BPI) pinch the middle of the mouth.

  • With ClayBuild up add some clay on the top sides of the mouth.

  • Use DamStandard to make the indents on the sides.

  • With DamStandard + Alt draw out the chin.

  • Add clay on the top below the bottom lip and smooth it out.

  • With the Move brush adjust the chin if need be.

  • On the side of the head add clay at the beginning of the forehead leading down to the eye and take away some clay on the side.

  • Add clay leading down the cheekbone and the side of the nose to connect it with the rest of the face.

  • Carve out the eyesockets using Alt + BCB.

  • Adjust the jaw a bit with the Move brush, bringing it upward.

  • With ClayBuild up add some clay on the side where the jawbone would be.

  • Use DamStandard to draw out a line leading from the side of the nostrils down to the lip.

  • After drawing out the line add clay on top and below the line where the top lip is.

  • With Alt + DamStandard make the two lines beneath the nose that are sticking out and one carved line in the middle.

  • From a bottom view use Alt + ClayBuild up to make the holes for the nostrils.

  • With the Move brush adjust the shape of the nose front bottom and sides.

  • Move the lips more up towards the face if they are too low.

  • Add more clay on the top side of the lip below the cheeks and below the indent of the mouth.

  • Add more clay on the side of the forehead and take away some clay above the eyes on the forehead itself.

  • With the Move brush adjust the jaw by dragging it outwards from the side to create a more square shape on the face.

  • Add clay on the top part of the eyesocket and use the Polish brush to smooth out the top of the cheek.

  • Continuing on with the face, we’re going to add a cylinder into the workspace, rotate it 90 degrees and squish it.

  • While having the gizmo turned, hold down the Ctrl key and move the cylinder to create 4 more copies next to each other.

  • We need this to measure the length of our eyes for the model.

  • Once you’ve made the copies, center the pivot, scale down the row of cylinders, and move them in front of the face where the eyes are.

  • The row needs to end from the start of each ear.

  • With DamStandard, draw the lines between the cylinders that are between the one cylinder in the middle of the row, now we know how wide the eyes should be for the face.

  • Add clay where the eyes would be and smooth it out.

  • Most people do the mistake of drawing the shape of the eye perfectly curved but in reality, the eye has more straight lines to it than people think.

  • With DamStandard draw out the shape of the eye and mask them using the Masking Pen.

  • Ctrl and click on the side to reverse the masking, Alt, and click where the eye is from the side to move the gizmo pivot to that spot.

  • While still holding down Alt, click the rotate sign above the gizmo to rotate it, and then just move the masked part inside the face.

  • Use ClayBuild up to carve out more of the eyesocket.

  • With DamStandard make two lines at the end of the eye and at the caruncle.

  • With the StandardBrush add clay below the eye to add volume to the bottom of the eyesocket.

  • To make the eyelids use DamStandard and make a brush stroke above the eyes.

  • To make the edges of the eye more crips, hold Alt + DamStandard and make a brush stroke on the edge of the eye.

  • From above, use the Move brush to pull out the eyelid or the top of the eye.

  • With a smaller brush, use the Standard brush to make the same stroke we did before this time on the lower eyelid.

  • Add more clay with ClayBuild up on the forehead and on the eyebrows to create the eyebrow bone.

  • Make sure the shape of the eye is correct and adjust it with the Move brush from time to time to keep the shape consistent.

  • Append a sphere and scale it down to make the eye itself and palace it in one of the eye sockets.

  • From here we have a better understanding of how the socket is supposed to look.

  • From the top view, use the Move brush and move out the bottom of the eye.

  • With DamStandard draw out indents below the eyes.

  • Select the eye and duplicate it by Mirror and Welding them inside of Modify Topology.

  • Again with DamStandard go over above the eyelid.

  • With the Move brush lift up the eye a bit from the sides and from above the cheek.

  • Use Alt + DamStandard to outline the lips again and just DamStandard to go over the middle line below the lower eyelid.

  • With ClayBuild up add some more clay on the jawbone and on the side of the cheek while taking away some clay in the middle of the jaw and cheeks where the skin sinks in.

  • For the eyebrows add more clay to make a bit of a stern expression on the face.

  • DynaMesh the head on a slightly higher resolution and go over the eyelids with DamStandard again.

  • With the Move brush move the lower eyelid a bit outward.

  • Use DamStandard to carve out the eye caruncle.

  • With the Move brush and from a lower angle tuck in the sides of the eye while moving the middle part of the eyelid out.

  • Mask the eye and use the Standard brush to add clay above the eyelid since we have a small amount of fat around that area.

  • With DamStandard draw out the line above the new amount of clay we added to create the skin above the upper eyelid.

  • Again with the Standard brush add more clay above the line we made.

  • With the Move brush grab the side of the head above the eye and move it down where the skin rests on top of the upper eyelid.

  • With DamStandard go over the top of the upper eyelid to add more volume to the skin on that part.

  • With Alt + ClayBuild up take away a small amount of the clay from the side that we just added and lightly smooth it.

  • Add more clay to the eyebrows and take away some clay above them.

  • Use DamStandard to make the skin folds at the corners of the eyes.

  • Do the same thing for the forehead at the eyebrows.

  • Outline the lower eyelid again and make lines coming from the corner of the caruncle down the cheek.

  • With the Move brush adjust the form of the nose, making the tip have more volume.

  • With DamStandard draw out the 3 circles on the nose, the two from the side and the one on the very tip of the nose.

  • Use the Polish brush to flatten out the sides of the nostrils, the sides on the tip, and below the nose where the opening of the nostrils are.

  • DynaMesh the face on a higher resolution.

  • In the middle of the cheek add some clay with ClayBuild up.

  • With DamStandard make two lines, one on the side of the cheek and another one curving near the mouth.

  • With ClayBuild up add clay inside the lines.

  • With the Move Topology brush adjust the form of the eye.

  • Add clay on the side below the eye.